i just got my first press a 8x12 new style. it has what i beleive to be composition rollers that badly need replaced. for the trucks they have the morgan expandable trucks which are badly oxidized and are stuck on the cores. the rubbers have flat spots also. i see that these are not the standard trucks and that replacements can be had made out of derlin. i have tried to find a picture of what the standard trucks should look. i am a machinist and can machine the rollers if i know what they look and have the dimensions. does anyone have these or a print of them i figure if i machine them i can set my rollers up exactly to my press.

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I’ve attached the photos of the trucks from a C&P 10x15 Craftsman. From what I understand, they’re all made the same. The pair on the left are a factory set. The pair on the right appear to be hand made replacements.

The hollowed out area keeps ink from building up on the side of the truck, I had to carve a lot of off the home-brew truck, while there was very little on the factory truck. if you’re going to make your own trucks, It might be a good idea to include this feature.

The keyway does not go all the way though the truck; if you look at the other side of the truck (not visible in this photo), the keyway is not visible on the peripheral of the hole. On the homebrew trucks, this appears to have been accomplished by filing or broaching the keyway at an angle. A shaper would certainly come in handy for this step.

My 10x15 uses 1-3/4” diameter rollers, and it looks like your 8x12 uses 1-1/2” diameter rollers, so my dimensions would most likely not be too useful to you. I’ll measure them tonight and post the dimensions should you be in the mood to approximate.

image: trucks.jpg


Keelan, I’m very interested in the dimensions, since I’m about to have new rollers and trucks made. I appreciate if you could post them.
I currently use Delrin made trucks, but I’m not convinced of their accuracy, and I’ve noticed my rollers are swollen from the edges, so it’s time to make new ones and I want to make sure I make them the right diameter.
I also have a 10x15 C&P Craftsman.
What material are your trucks? Mick on Monotype once suggested aluminum, so I might go with that.

Thank you!

Enriquevw, yes I did suggest aluminium for trucks, but also brass, copper, nylon and hard plastic, (industrial quality) findings to date as follows;- aluminium turns and bores well, (with tungsten tipped tool at fairly high speed) but under working conditions appears to pick up residue from the tracks and chatters, roller bounce, but acceptable with a little more cleaning care. Brass turns up beautifully, **see footnote** Our Thompson Platen trucks were always brass, and under sustained factory conditions stood the test of time!! A slightly harder grade of copper stock also makes terrific trucks but gets expensive if it is only non profit making, and copper, on iron or steel rails, I.E. 2 dis-similar metals seems to be a desireable situation. This according to my local University machine shop? Not out of my head! The ultimate, to outlast the machine and the owner/operator, would be BRONZE! but at telephone numbers to buy the stock, even if there was any left to buy would be ridiculous! I made just one from bronze as an exercise to learn and only because it was a redundant dead bearing anyway. Nylon and industrial grade plastic dont turn too well on a conventional lathe, not fast enough! I failed, but could if required do a little horse trading with my local machine shop and have them ground at high speed in the same manner as our Graphic Suppliers grind rubber and composition rollers. ***I am at this time preparing an Adana H.S. 3 for sale and have just had new rubber rollers supplied without trucks! hence I turned a set from brass, hand and brain, with no drawings, but in the process used a little “outside the box thinking” and as the trucks are twice the width required, between the compound and the roller hooks turned them at 2 different dimensions, I.E. standard in one position, flipped over X 4 to standard height minus .004 thou. No results available yet!!! I turned my stock down to standard size at about 6 inches long overall, and then parted them off in individual sections, and then one at a time turned down to my second size. Peeved at the pile of brass swarf as waste. I turn roller stocks (shafts) from the centre columns of Auto (car) Macpherson struts and our Graphic Suppliers inform me that there is no need to present the stocks with knurling along the length, they chemically treat the shafts for adhesion of compound. String or cord wound is old hat!!! I use a Colchester Bantam lathe and will happily share my humble efforts/learnings on line or off. MICK

Thanks a lot Mick, very informative. I suppose I could go then with brass, seems like the most reliable and middle ground as bronze tends to be way more expensive, and brass is usually the best option if it’s going to be in contact with steel or iron.
I will quote them with my trusted machinist, then. I wish you were on this side of the pond so I could commission them to you! Very clever idea about the trucks with two sizes.

If you intend to go to the expense of having trucks made, then make them out of steel, not some softer metal. Brass will wear too quickly, and if you should drop one it will dent. The trucks were originally made from steel, it only makes sense to replace them with the same.


Perhaps our well informed friend could go to SpecSavers or obtain a higher resolution computor to view the pictures at the start of this post, (funny coloured STEEL)? British Thompson Auto platen trucks were only ever brass! admittedly with steel inserts but only to carry the chain driven sprockets, to stop roller slip! The brass still ran on the rails!!! LOOK UP the term *sacrificial,* it will probably say/imply “expendable item” to protect another component. Perhaps one should post pictures of a machine being rebuilt in Our Museum at this time, where the trucks (in steel) are badly worn at point of contact with the rails, the bores of the trucks are worn, where the shafts go through, the trucks where the roller hooks are carried are badly worn, etc etc. If this machine goes into active service, and as the compound is serviceable, I may possibly turn the shafts down or re-sleeve them to a standard size, and make new trucks from brass, to protect the rails, I could use steel and compound the problem?? My favourite weapons of choice are Colchester Bantam Lathe and Tom Senior Milling machine, have made 3 sets of trucks in the last 3 months, including 3 prototypes for appraisal in our museum. The learning curve is still steep, but all constructive comments are of help. Got the bottle to publish your C. V. or resume!!! …… Keelan, thank you for your post/pics showing and stating EX FACTORY trucks made from strange yellow metal, non ferrous, BRASS even!! ENRIQUEVW, Buddy, thank you but the 2 dimension trucks were my application but not my original concept, this was a blast from the past from the memory banks, and I have been cross examined Off line!! as to why I arrived at the variation over the 2 dimensions, I didnt do enough homework with regard to what roller clearances, may be desireable, including wear on the tracks and trucks, with all the “to tape or not to tape” syndrome in mind. Constructive/helpful back up and corrections are on the way via our glorious “snail mail”

Perhaps if the thread were about British Thompsons then brass trucks might be called for, but Chandler & Price presses used steel trucks. Most all of the steel trucks I have encountered were a very high grade of steel as they have to wear on the bearer surface with no lubrication. The trucks shown above look to me like steel, but the photo looks like it is shot with a slightly yellow light. I’m surprised that you don’t recommend them made from ironwood or lignum vitae.

Thanks to all for the responses. Way more than I thought would be had on the subject so far. I do have a person that was gratious enough to send me an original steel wheel to dimension off of and check out. The morgan trucks I have are oxidized so bad on it that I don’t know if they will come apart. I guess these things have been sitting on there for a really long time. With 2 different metals being in constant contact galvanic corrosion can happen very easily if not kept in check. I have only had the press since last Sunday and have not really had a chance to do any measurements on it. I would think I need to get a nice flat piece of metal and take some measurements from the rails to the bed and see where I stand. Might even set up a dial indicator on the bed and run it across the rails. I can set zero off the bed and see the height easily with a 1” indicator. I could use a depth gage off of a machined block that is .918 too. There are many ways I can think of to measure the rail height. I admit I have no clue what I am doing though. Im just looking at it like a machinist. I do have a book by Polk “Elementary Platen Presswork” that I have read is a must read for working with a C&P. When I make the trucks what should I be shooting for for how much the face of the roller off the bed? I have seen on boxcar press checking the height with their roller gauge and measuring the ink thickness that is transferred. I guess it would be the interference between the roller and the plate is what I need to know to get the correct roller diameter. I see that type height is .918. from what I read is that the trucks should be the same diameter as the rollers or slightly smaller, but I would guess that would be in a perfect world on a new press with unworn rails. I will probably be using a rubber roller and polymer plates for the most part until I get some type to play with. For the truck material I have several options available to me already in the shop. Standard steel, stainless steel, probably brass, maybe bronze, beryllium copper, no delrin though. Using a plastic seems like it would wear down quickly though. How long would a delrin truck like NA Graphics last? Am I putting to much thought into this?

mick, what toolbit are you using to try to cut plastics with? i have cut lots of plastics on standard moderns, monarchs, and cholchesters at relatively low speeds, 1000 rpms or so for 2” materials. i have always used high speed steel that i have ground to a pretty steep releif angle with little to no nose radius. almost like a knife edge. standard carbide bits would not work for it as they were not sharp enough.

Mick is not so into turning plastic but i am sure soon the penny wil drop and he will use the same tool as he would for brass .


The trucks in my photo are definitely steel. I cleaned quite a bit of rust off of them before taking this photo. They are definitely not brass, aluminum, or plastic.

Enrique, I’ll get those dimensions for you tonight.

And by “Tonight”, I meant Today!

Hopefully these are clear enough. I think I included all of the critical dimensions. Let me know if you need anything that isn’t show on the diagrams.

image: wideend.jpg


image: alternate.jpg


image: plain.jpg


image: fancy.JPG


Of course, BP reversed the order I posted the photos in.

Thanks a lot Keelan, very nice drawings, by the way!

great drawings! thanks they will come in handy.

These drawing are great keelan, does anyone know if these drawings will work for an Old Style C&P as well???